Almost 20% of South Africans are not aware of the value of passwords, according to Kaspersky Lab and B2B International.
“A password to an account with an online store gives cyber criminals an opportunity to harvest financial data and spend other people’s money. However, less than half (43%) of respondents in South Africa named passwords among the valuable information that they would not want to see in the hands of cyber criminals, while 20% of those surveyed locally saw no inherent value in their passwords for criminals,” – Kaspersky
This worrying number shows just how uninformed many people are about the threats presented to them online. Last year, Trustwave Global Security Report found that weak passwords contributed to almost a third of intrusions investigated by the company in 2013.
If you are using any one of the common passwords (including passwords like “123456”, 123456789″, administrator”, “root”, “qwerty”, “1qaz2wsx” and “password”) then change your password immediately. If you want a secure password there are many password generators that can help you.
Also, make sure not to send your password or any important personal details via email. Companies such as Facebook or Amazon will never ask you for this kind of information. Same goes for sites asking you to enter your password, make sure you are on the site you expect to be on, and not some hacker’s site who is attempting to farm passwords.
“A password is like a key to your home; you wouldn’t leave your door on the latch, or put your keys where anyone could find them, just because you don’t think you have anything of great value. Complex passwords unique to each account, carefully stored in a safe place, will save you a lot of trouble,” – Peter Aleshkin, consumer marketing group manager for Emerging Markets at Kaspersky Lab.